Sale Sharks are looking to sign George Ford ahead of next season, in what would be a surprise move away from Leicester Tigers for the England international.
According to The Telegraph, Sale are in discussion with Ford, who is reportedly keen to return to his home town of Saddleworth, which is located in Greater Manchester along with the Sharks’ home stadium.
Ford first played for Leicester back in 2009 as a 16-year-old but left the club in 2013 to join Bath, where his father Mike was head coach at the time.
The younger Ford left Bath in 2017, a season after his father was sacked as the club’s head coach, and returned to Leicester. Sale were interested in signing Ford back then and have again shown their interest in securing the services of the talented fly-half.
Sale Sharks announced the departure of AJ MacGinty yesterday.
News of Sale’s interest in Ford comes after they announced that their current first-choice fly-half AJ MacGinty is leaving the club at the end of the season to join Bristol Bears.
Dublin-born USA international MacGinty has been with Sale since 2016 but will link up with his former head coach at Connacht Pat Lam when he plays for Bristol next season.
MacGinty’s departure has created space for Ford to join the Sharks, where he would feature in a star-studded backline alongside the likes of South Africa scrum-half Fat de Klerk and fellow England international Manu Tuilagi.
Ford and Tuilagi played for many years together at Leicester, while they have also played very well together for England, and would certainly do so again for Sale if the two link up in the north-west.
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Sale Sharks can today confirm that USA International fly-half AJ MacGinty will leave the club at the end of the 2⃣1⃣-2⃣2⃣ Premiership season to join @BristolBears.
— Sale Sharks ? (@SaleSharksRugby) November 10, 2021
George Ford and the high-flying Leicester Tigers.
Ford and Leicester are currently playing very well in the Gallagher Premiership, as the fly-half has helped guide his club to eight wins in eight matches this season.
Despite his impressive form for the Tigers, Ford was left out of England’s squad for the autumn internationals, as Owen Farrell and Marcus Smith were both selected ahead of him.
A number of French clubs were rumoured to be interested in signing Ford after his England omission, but should he move to Sale he will remain in contention for his country, who he has already amassed 77 caps for at the age of 28.